Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Am I a 'liberal' or a conservative?

A lot of American bloggers talk about 'liberals' and 'conservatives.' We British tend to talk about 'left' and 'right' rather than liberal and conservative.

I am not quite sure which category I actually fit into, so maybe I should try and work it out.

Reasons Matthew might be a conservative

* A member of the Conservative party.
* A monarchist (not really relevant to US politics)
* Pro-life (that is)
* Supports the 'War on Terror.'
* Supports the war in Afghanistan and opposed to a hasty withdrawal from Iraq.
* Supports pro-marriage policies.
* Supports the death penalty.
* Critical of gun control (not really relevant to British politics)
* Supports free-market captialism.
* In favour of death penalty.
* Unhappy with criticism of use of imprisonment in sentences.
* Uncomfortable with the idea of redistributive taxes.
* Likes the idea of a flat rate of tax.
* Supports Britain remaining a nuclear power.
* Sceptical about environmentalism.

Reasons Matthew might be a 'liberal'

* Not uncomfortable with 'big government.'
* Critical of welfare reform.
* Thinks free healthcare is a good idea (But most people in Britain do)
* Believes social housing is a key government priority.
* In favour of an Individual Basic Income (but this goes nicely with a flat rate of tax- which is a conservative idea).
* Concerned about disparity of wealth in British society.
* Concerned about poverty.
* Looks with envy at social democratic Nordic countries.
* Pro-immigration (But maybe all supporters of a free market ought to be).
* In favour of an amnesty for illegal immigrants.
* Not particularly Eurosceptic (Not really relevant to US politics)
* In favour of better relations with Russia.
* In favour of legalizing or decriminalising heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
* Suspects that conservatives do not always take into account economic factors when considering issues such as crime.

So it looks like I am roughly equal on reasons for being liberal or conservative.

I do sometimes wonder why I support the Conservative party. I am uncomfortable with a number of their policies. I think David Cameron has gone a long way in making the Conservative party seem more liberal, but I do think that it still maintains an allergy to 'big government' that stands in the way of truly progressive politics.

On the issue of welfare reform and drugs, I am far more liberal than the Labour government. That is a bit worrying. I hope that when Labour is voted is out of office, they move back to the Left. That way, the Conservatives are in a better position to occupy the Centre.

6 comments:

Antonio said...

Why would you want to legalize drugs? What a shameful thought.

Why would wanting to help the poor be in the liberal side? Conservatives want to help the poor also. The difference would be on how do to that.

The liberal would want to tax the rich to give to the poor. This is socialism.

The conservative would want to let the rich keep their money, spend their money, which creates jobs. The conservative would want to teach responsibility and honor in the schools.

The liberals want to give a hand out, the conservatives want to give a hand up.

Celestial Fundie said...

Atnonio, thanks for your thoughts.

"Why would you want to legalize drugs? What a shameful thought."

Some drugs are legal already, such as alcohol and tobacco. The question then is why certain drugs are not.

"Why would wanting to help the poor be in the liberal side? Conservatives want to help the poor also. The difference would be on how do to that."

Okay, that was kind of vague. I believe state action can help to address poverty in a number of ways.

"The conservative would want to let the rich keep their money, spend their money, which creates jobs."

Indeed. Wealth creates jobs and is a positive thing.

However, there are two problems.

Firstly, there often remains a class of people who fail to fill those jobs that are created.

The conservative tends to blame this on welfare dependance. While I agree that welfare dependance is part of the problem, I think it is a symptom of poverty, rather than the cause and welfare reform on the American model is not the answer to it.

Secondly, having a job does not necessarilly mean that one is not poor. A lot of jobs have low wages and do not lift people out of poverty.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matt

Antonio said...

Matt,

Do you think Jesus would be in favor of legalizing drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin?

Please give your honest answer.

Antonio

Celestial Fundie said...

Jesus upheld the authority of the Mosaic law, which imposed no restrictions on alcohol, the drug of that time.

Thus, there is no biblical argument for or against criminalizing particular drugs.

Were our Lord a politician, He would have used His divine wisdom in evaluating the arguments for or against legalization and I believe the case for legalization and regulation is stronger than the case for the status quo.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matt

Antonio said...

Matt,

Drugs were used during that time. The word for pharmacy in the Greek comes from the idea of entertaining spirits through the use of drugs, sorcery. Paul and the Old Testmanent speaks out against such.

Furthermore, of what benefit to society, individuals, or the kingdom of God would there be to the legalizing of drugs?

Will you place yourself under the influence of heroin, matt?

Antonio

Celestial Fundie said...

"Will you place yourself under the influence of heroin, matt?"

As I am about to start a job helping people with addiction problems, I should hope not.

"Furthermore, of what benefit to society, individuals, or the kingdom of God would there be to the legalizing of drugs?"

Are you suggesting that only things that benefit the kingdom should be permitted by law?

If so, then all forms of gambling should be illegal.

That a thing is bad should not necessarilly lead to the conclusion that it should be prohibited by law.